Do I Have A Case? Yes, You Have Two.
The intersection of Workers’ Compensation and a Personal Injury Claim arising from an on-the-job motor vehicle accident.
It is not unusual for an individual to have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent third party that occurred while they were on the job. You may be wondering if you have a case under this set of facts. The answer is yes, you have two cases arising from the incident. You will have a workers’ compensation claim and a bodily injury claim against the responsible third party.
If you are acting within the course and scope of your employment when a motor vehicle accident occurs, you will have a workers’ compensation claim arising out of the injuries you sustained in the collision. Oklahoma has a no-fault workers’ compensation system.
Under the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer is required to provide medical treatment to you for your injuries. The Act also provides that the employer has the right to select the treating physician. Currently, most Oklahoma workers’ compensation insurance carriers are initially sending injured workers to an occupational medical officer or urgent care type of facility. MRI testing or other forms of diagnostic testing are often ordered with referrals to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon for further care and treatment.
The workers’ compensation carrier will then normally provide reasonable and necessary medical treatment until you have recovered from your injuries and have reached “maximum medical improvement”. “Maximum medical improvement” means that no further material improvement would reasonably be expected from medical treatment or the passage of time.
Once your attorney has navigated you through the workers’ compensation case and achieved a settlement of the same, it is then time to pursue your second case, a personal injury claim for injuries arising out of the motor vehicle accident against the responsible third party.
Your bodily injury claim arises out of the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident. Typical damages arising out of the accident would include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Normally your attorney will be working with the responsible party’s liability insurance carrier. Your attorney will submit your medical expenses and medical records to the insurance carrier for evaluation and also provide lost wage documentation if applicable. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful in bringing a resolution to your personal injury claim, mediation is sometimes utilized as a tool to achieve settlement of your case. If settlement negotiations between the parties fail, your attorney will most likely file a bodily injury case in the county district courthouse where the collision occurred on your behalf. If litigation is necessary, and the case is not resolved, you will have the option to proceed forward to a jury trial for resolution of your case.
Hopefully, this article helps you understand the interactions of your two cases which will arise out of the motor vehicle accident you were involved in and caused by a negligent third party.
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Michael Finerty Attorney At Law
436 Court Street
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74402-1542
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